The 20 Best Countries for Transgender People Who Want to Leave the U.S.

The 20 Best Countries for Transgender People Who Want to Leave the U.S.

In 2023, state legislatures have proposed 566 anti-trans bills in 49 states (all but Delaware), and legislators have also introduced at least 31 national anti-trans bills. Although 128 of those bills have already failed, 80 have passed without veto, revoking rights from transgender individuals in 22 states.

If you’re considering moving your family to a country that’s more welcoming to transgender people, travel journalists Asher & Lyric have created a guide to the best and worst countries for trans rights and ranked the United States in 40th place. Here are their 20 best countries for transgender people.

1. Malta

Shutterstock trans malta slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Despite Malta’s strong Catholic presence, the Mediterranean island is often named tops for LGBTQIA+. Asher & Lyric note that 16-year-olds can apply for legal gender ID change with parental consent. The nation offers worker protections and constitutional protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows no trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Malta

2. Portugal

Shutterstock portugal trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Portugal has become a popular location for all kinds of people looking to emigrate out of the United States, thanks to its progressive laws for abortion, LGBTQIA+ rights, and drug use. Asher & Lyric say that 18-year-olds can get a legal gender ID change with no requirements, but 16-year-olds need a psych evaluation and parental consent. The nation offers worker protections and constitutional protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Portugal

3. Canada

Shutterstock canada trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Canada has long supported LGBTQIA+ refugees fleeing persecution. Gender ID change is legal here without surgery. The nation offers worker protections and constitutional protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Canada

4. Sweden

Shutterstock sweden trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In 1972, Sweden was the first country to allow transgender people to legally change their sex, but the requirements at that time were brutal. Asher & Lyric say that legislation is in progress to make changing your legal gender easier, but there is increasing restriction there in hormone therapy for minors.

➤ Move to Sweden

5. Bolivia

Shutterstock bolivia trans slideshow 1 jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Bolivia got Asher & Lyric’s top score outside of Europe. The Amazonian nation offers worker protections and constitutional protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Bolivia

6. Belgium

Shutterstock belgium trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In Belgium, Asher & Lyric say that transgender individuals have to complete paperwork attesting to their gender identity. Legal protections besides worker protections are more broad, but the country hasn’t had any trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Belgium

7. Croatia

Shutterstock croatia trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Like Belgium, Croatia offers worker protections and broad protections and has had zero trans murders during the study period. Changing your gender identity is legal, and hate crimes are prosecuted. The Balkan nation is popular with American emigrants for its weather and lifestyle. There have been zero trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Croatia

8. Denmark

Shutterstock denmark trans slideshow 1 jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Generally progressive Denmark does require a six-month “reflection period” before changing your gender identity. Hate crimes are prosecuted, and worker protections and broad protections are available. There have been zero trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Denmark

9. Norway

Shutterstock norway trans slideshow 1 jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Minors can transition in Norway from the age of 6 with parental consent. Otherwise, worker protections and broad protection are available, hate crimes are prosecuted, and there have been zero trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Norway

10. Greece

Shutterstock greece trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

You can change your gender identity without surgery in Greece. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .1 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Greece

11. Switzerland

Shutterstock switzerland trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

You can change your gender identity without surgery in Switzerland. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It shows .1 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Switzerland

12. France

Shutterstock france trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

You can change your gender identity without surgery in France. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to France

13. Finland

Shutterstock finland trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Finland just changed its law requiring individuals be sterilized before legally changing their gender, a common past stipulation in Europe. The country’s new center-right government was in favor of the repeal. In addition, the nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Finland

14. Spain

Shutterstock spain trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Spain recognizes both transgender and non-binary people without surgery. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .3 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Spain

15. United Kingdom

Shutterstock uk trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

You can change your gender identity without surgery in the United Kingdom, but you do need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to the UK

16. Peru

Shutterstock peru trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

You can change your gender identity without surgery in Peru, but you must go before a judge. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows 1.3 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Peru

17. Chile

Shutterstock chile trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Asher & Lyric say that since 2019, ID documents can be changed in Chile without surgery. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It prosecutes hate crimes and shows 1.3 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Chile

18. Netherlands

Shutterstock netherlands trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

You can change your gender identity without surgery in France. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It shows .2 trans murders per million people from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to the Netherlands

19. Iceland

Shutterstock iceland trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In Iceland, Asher & Lyric note that minors can change their legal gender ID without parental consent. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It shows zero trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Iceland

20. Ireland

Shutterstock ireland trans slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Asher & Lyric note that 16-year-olds can change their legal gender with a court order. The nation offers worker protections and broad protections. It shows zero trans murders from 2008-2022.

➤ Move to Ireland

Transgender Rights Around the World for Expats & Immigrants

Shutterstock trans flag slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

The ways that different countries treat gender identity is as varied as it is state to state. There are some countries that are considered progressive that may have really invasive laws, like Finland, which just this month overturned the law that required transgender people to be sterilized. On the Expatsi Test, we ask if you’re interested in moving to a country where Gender Self-Determination is legal, because that’s currently the gold standard of rights. You are who you say you are.

Transgender Rights Around the World for Expats & Immigrants

Where is Abortion Legal?

Shutterstock abortion slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June of 2022, many expats are looking for countries where the right to an abortion is protected or at least not as contested. Other expats may seek countries who ban abortion in all instances. Currently, states with trigger laws are fumbling to figure out what’s legal and what’s not. There’s confusion around the use of drugs and procedures that could terminate a pregnancy, even when that’s not how providers or patients are using them.

Where is Abortion Legal?

Where is Gay Marriage Legal?

Shutterstock gay marriage slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

If you’re gay and want to move abroad, here’s a guide to where your marriage will be honored.

Where is Gay Marriage Legal?

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?